Good Evening Fellow Bloggers,

It’s been a while, too long!  Summer has taken me away from behind the computer, but fall is right around the corner.  This summer flew by!  Can someone please press pause and preserve these last final summer days?  This summer has been an unusual one for Charlotte, NC with lots of rain.  On the rainy days, I have reconnected with my creativity and designer mind.  This is what I have created.

These are a gift for my best friend from college that now lives in Arizona.

Before

henna_inspired_shoes_before

After

henna_inspired_shoes_after_02

henna_inspired_shoes_after_01I purchased the shoes from Khol’s.  The shoes are designed much like TOMS.  They are a basic red canvas shoe.  Khol’s also sells these shoes in black, gray and gold.  My best friend requested red shoes.  (Life is better in bold colors.)  I used gold Tulip Metallic Fabric paint, that I purchased at Hobby Lobby, to apply the design to the shoes.

My most recent fascination has been with henna designs.  I love the delicate and detailed patterns.  I studied many henna YouTube videos and sketched numerous henna designs in my sketchbook.  I was amazed at the peacock design and focused on this for the shoes.

After much studies, I was ready to apply the design to the shoes!  I used an acrylic pencil to lightly draw the design on each shoe.  With a steady hand, I used the squeeze bottle of fabric paint to bold the design on each shoe.  And ta-da!  I have created some custom henna inspired shoes.

I have posted these pictures on my Instagram and Facebook page and have received a lot of positive feedback from family, friends and colleagues.  Everyone has encouraged me to create more of these shoes and sell them on Etsy.  I am currently doing some more research into this possibility.  Who knows!  Never say never!  You may see my work for sale soon on Etsy!  Stay tuned!

In a hurry to complete this project and have my best friend debut my henna inspired shoes in Arizona, this was my quick signature mark for my first project.

Be on the look out for a new logo design!

henna_inspired_shoes_after_03Side Note: This is a mile marker for me as a designer!  This is my first wearable design and I am excited to have my best friend debut it.  Thank you, Monica!  You have always encouraged and supported me in all my crazy designs and thoughts!  You are the best!

I recently had lunch at the Big View Diner and saw an order of Shrimp & Grits.  I have been craving it ever since that lunch date!  I headed over to my favorite place to pick up recipes, aka Pinterest.  My goal was to find a savory, but easy recipe for Shrimp & Grits.  After much searching and review of other recipes, I found this one.  I have never made Shrimp & Grits, but this recipe was very easy and delicious.  A great recipe to satisfy my southern dish craving.

Image

Shrimp & Grits

Ingredients:

(for shrimp)

  • 5 slices hickory smoked bacon, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. peeled & deveined FRESH shrimp
  • salt & pepper, to taste

(for grits)

  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups grits (not quick cooking!)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups grated medium cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated real Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Start by cooking grits.  Bring chicken broth to rolling boil in large pot.  Whisk in grits, salt and pepper, cover and reduce heat to medium (medium-low) and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. While the grits are cooking, preheat a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute bacon and onions together until bacon starts to crisp and onions have browned, 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic, shrimp, salt and pepper.  Stir another 3 minutes until shrimp are bright pink and thoroughly cooked.  Remove from heat.
  3. Finish grits by melting in butter and cheeses.  Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Spoon grits into bowl and top with shrimp mixture.  Top with parsley.  Serve immediately.

 

It is with great sorrow that my family and I made the decision, today, to put our family golden retriever, Sunny, to sleep.  Within the last few weeks, Sunny was unable to walk.  The veterinarian found that she was severely anemic and possibly had neurological damage from suffering from a stroke.  My family and I knew we only had a matter of weeks or days with her and did our best to keep her comfortable.  While my family was vacationing at the beach and I was dog-sitting, Sunny became very ill and stopped eating.  We felt that this was a sign from her that it was her time to leave us and that she was possibly suffering more and more each day.  She was 12 years old.

The trio of buddies, Sunny, Mr. Yo and Miss. Kirby, now rest together in the heavens above.  All of whom we miss so very much.

This loss of a family pet was the most difficult for me.  Leaving Sunny at the vet clinic and returning home alone was the most daunting thing I have ever had to do alone.  I cried all day and periodically still shed tears of sorrow.  I know each day it will get easier, but today was by far the most difficult.

I want to thank the friends and family that shared their kind and caring words with me to grant me strength through this rough time.

Sunny will always will be in our hearts.

RIP_Sunny

“It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart.  If I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dong, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”

“Dog is God spelled backwards, they are only on loan to us for a short time.”

 

This month at the Ladies Do-It-Herself class at Home Depot, three of the Adirondack chairs which we built were raffled off.  Guess what?!  I won!

Here is a picture of my Adirondack Chair!  I did not purchase the teal seat cushion which is pictured, but I was allowed to select a pillow to go with the chair.  Later I found a nice seat cushion for the chair at another store.  Unfortunately, with the high humidity and all the rain we have been receiving, I have not had a chance to stain and treat the chair.  For now it resides in my garage.  I want to ensure that this chair lasts!

adirondack_chair

Cook out season is here!  In the south, pickles are a MUST HAVE at a cook out.  I love pickles!  This summer I am attempting to make my own.  (How hard could it be right?!)  I researched some recipes online and found this super easy recipe from The Brothers Green on YouTube.  (P.S. They are one of my favorite shows to watch on The Official Hungry Channel.  They now have their own YouTube channel called Brothers Green Eats, be sure to check them out!)

Below is the YouTube video and recipe.

Sweet & Spicy Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Cucumbers
  • 1/2 Cup Dill
  • 3-5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1-2 Jalapenos
  • 1 Quart Mason Jar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Cup Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Clean and cut cucumbers length wise in to quaters.  (This is hot dog length to make spears, for all those that get length and width confused.  Yes, I admit, I am one of them!)
  2. Pack quarter cucumber spears into the 1 quarter Mason Jar.
  3. Smash garlic cloves and remove garlic peel.  Pack garlic cloves into Mason Jar with cucumbers.
  4. Dice jalapenos and add them to the Mason Jar.  You can have the option to add the seeds and white membrane to Mason jar. (Note: I added 1 whole jalapeno with all parts.  The pickles turned out quite spicy.)
  5. Rough chop the dill and smash the dill on top of all the ingredients in the Mason Jar.
  6. To make pickling brine, add 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of water, salt and sugar to a pot on medium high heat.  (I used 1 to 1 ratio of salt to sugar.)
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Once ingredients are combined in the brine, pour in mason jar over all ingredients.
  9. Cap and place the pickles in the refrigerator for a few hours to marinate.

Enjoy!

Hello Ladies!  The third Thursday of the month has almost arrived, which means another Do-It-Herself Class at The Home Depot.  This coming Thursday, June 20, 2013  The Home Depot will be hosting a Ladies Do-It-Herself Class on How to Build an Adirondack Chair.

Want a sneak peak?  Here is the YouTube video of how to complete the project on your own.  (But hands on is more fun!  Ana White definitely makes this job appear easier than it truly is.  No offense, Ana.)

 

The class will be held at all Home Depots on Thursday, June 20, 2013.  If interested in attending, stop by your nearest Home Depot and inquire.  Some Home Depot stores request that you RSVP so that they can plan snacks and seating accordingly.

The Rivergate Home Depot (Charlotte, NC) will be serving heavy hors d’oeuvres from City Tavern, assembling and decorating 4 Adirondack chairs which will be raffled off at the end of the night.  AND!  If you bring a friend, you will receive an extra raffle ticket to double your chances for winning.  An Adirondack chair will look lovely on my small front porch.  Wish me luck!

Pictures to come!  Again, I will scan in the Home Depot Do-It-Herself booklet again for those of you that are unable to attend, but like the instructions.